5 Steps to a Functional and Beautiful Blog Design
December 6, 2016
For any small business, a blog has the potential of doing a lot. Some of these functions include: assisting in customer interactions, attracting potential clients, publishing one’s thoughts, and getting attention from the search engine. Being a small business, a simple design can be used to save on costs. In recent time, blogs have become easier to run and manage with the advent of templates and online freelancers.
For entrepreneurs, to benefit from all the advantages blog has for an enterprise, it’s critical to create a blog that is attractive. Your site, in this case, should match the brand of your company and also offer the services required from your business. To do this, here are some five simple steps that every blogger, the entrepreneur should follow.
1. Decide On the Platform On Which Your Blog Will Be Placed
Although such a point draws no relation to blog design, it is crucial to the making of any site. The choice of software often determines the extent to which your blog requires planning. There are really not many platforms to choose from. However, two of the best choices are TypePad and WordPress.
WordPress is a free online blogging platform. It requires software installation for it to run smoothly on a web server. The platform also requires permanent installation. A further requirement is an additional HTML coding for design customization. On the plus side, WordPress provides an enormous amount of plugins and code modules to improve the functionality of your blog. WordPress will, in this case, work efficiently for clients who can install, run and control their systems and customers and have a wider budget in order to design, maintain and code their sites.
TypePad is a controlled blog solution. This means that the makers of TypePad control the updates and ensure the stability of the software for its clients. The platform comes with some small monthly cash packages, which weigh lightly on people who wish to have their blogs managed for them. The design options on TypePad are limited to some point, but this falls to the advantage of those individuals with a tight budget. Lastly, the platform also provides plugins and code modules. Such are enough for basic to intermediate level bloggers.
2. Begin From a Template While Designing Your Blog
Using a template is an excellent way to get started in blogging. If using TypePad, then designing a blog that is well customized is pretty simple. Here, all that is required is a good understanding of the basic layouts and principles of TypePad.
Some of the steps are unnecessary if one chooses to use a template. For example, you may not even require applying color palette. The significant disadvantage with choosing to use a template is that your competition may opt to implement a similar one to yours, and it may also appear generic. As a result, such occurrences confuse users and decrease the effectiveness of your site.
3. Create a Header for Your Blog
You may choose to use a blog header consisting of simple text on a well-colored background at first. However, coming up with a banner graphic is quite an easy way of making your site unique, memorable, and engaging. Experts recommend that you match your blog headers with other added material, for example, websites, business cards, and pamphlets.
Items that should appear in your blog header include your logo, blog subhead and the blog title. An addition of photos and graphics will also go an extra mile in ensuring that your site stands out from others. Lastly, you’ll also need the last file header to have the same width as your blog. Note that templates vary and hence, it is essential that you confirm it with your provider.
4. Set the Number of Columns
To do this, you’ll require a column consisting of the main text where you can publish your web posts and articles. It is advisable to have either one or two sidebar columns associated with your widgets and links. The size that may be required for the sidebar will solely depend on the content in those columns. It is necessary to consider the content design and similarly, whether that design would appear better in one large column or two narrow ones. Also look at the amount of content you have and ensure that it doesn’t go on for too long.
5. Establish the Right Content for Your Sidebar
The sidebar platform of your blog is simply a place where you can choose to use promotional techniques. For example, a sign-up tool box for newsletters or a promotional product box. It is also a perfect area to advertise and promote further online preferences, for instance, your Twitter feed or main website. Moreover, you can also opt to use the sidebar to offer visitors different ways of subscribing to the blog.
There also exist other tools known as widgets that go a long way in ensuring that your blog displays a vast range of information. Blog providers typically possess a list of widgets available for installation. Bear in mind that while choosing an appropriate widget, style or fashion are insignificant. As an entrepreneur, you should ensure that you pick the widget that is related to your site.
Items that should appear in your sidebar include:
- A promotion and a link.
- A sign-up box for newsletters.
- A link to sign-up for blog updates or for later communication via email.
- A contact form for extended queries or feedback.
- Latest Twitter posts.
- A list of blog categories.
- A link to social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
- A link that describes and defines your character and attributes (your ‘about’ page).
The above are some of the standard and basic methods that every blogger or any other individual thereof should follow to ensure that their blog is attractive and successful. It is essential to exercise patience while designing any website whether personal or for business intended goals. Prey on the intuitive minds of online subscribers for they tend to be more affiliated with beautiful, organized, and unique blogs.
Lastly, it is fundamental to remember that any blog design should go hand in hand with its website content. A blog layout should, therefore, bear close similarity with the message it is supposed to offer to the readers or online subscribers. Also, it is imperative to make sure that your blog looks nothing like another blog on the web, especially your competitor. This will have very grave consequences for your blogging venture. Take the initiative, create or transform your blog into one that comes to a notch closer to perfection.